An elephant calf died after drowning in a pond in the Kendai Forest Range of Korba district in Chhattisgarh, it was announced on Saturday.
Divisional Forest Officer (DFO) Shama Farooqui told the media that a herd of 46 wild elephants was roaming in the Lamna forests.
“Last month two calves were born in this herd. The group was in Kendai and the Forest Department employees were tracking their movements till late Friday night,” she said.
Around 3 am, the group moved out of the Lamna region into the core jungle. So, the forest team retreated. However, the herd returned to a pond located close to the village in Lamna early on Saturday to drink water, the officer said.
It seems the calf would have drowned at this point. About 5 am, when the forest staff again reached the spot, they found the body, she said.
The post-mortem of the calf will reveal the exact reason for the death, she added.
Meanwhile, Chief Conservator of Forest (CCF) of Bilaspur Anil Soni visited the spot and supported the DFO’s claim.
This year so far 13 elephants have died in different incidents like electrocution, drowning and others in Chhattisgarh.
According to the Forest Department, northern Chhattisgarh is home to around 250 elephants who roam in the forests of Surguja, Dharamjaigarh, Jashpur, Balrampur and Pratappur.